September 12, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
The four ex-officers involved with the death of George Floyd in May, appeared in court on Friday, and a possible overdose became the main focus of the trial. The case argues that Floyd, who had fentanyl in his system, died due to an overdose of drugs rather than the pressure from Chauvin’s keel on George’s neck. When the four defendants turned on each other, the attorneys argued that their clients ought to get separate trials. However, Special Attorney Neal Katyal believes that separate trials could ‘delay justice’ for months, and possibly years. Meanwhile, the prosecutors accuse the defense of lying, claiming that the only overdose Floyd had was of “excessive force and racism”. As protests continue to ravage US cities, the issue of race will play a critical role in this present trial and the upcoming 2020 US election.
Per The Guardian, a recent federal court ruling denying the right of ex-felons to vote without paying back their debts has caused a controversy in Florida. In 2018, this verdict was not prevalent; however, supporters assert that the debt from the court ruling is part of the sentence, and that paying off the debt proves that the ex-convicts can exercise their right to vote responsibly. However, the opposition claims that this is essentially a poll tax, which is unconstitutional because it bases someone’s right to vote off of their financial well being.
As oil and gas production in the Permian Basin of Texas is expected to twofold over the next four years, Gov. Abbott announces in a press release on Texas.Gov that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is receiving a federal grant of 25 million dollars. Chairman J. Bruce Bugg Jr. states, "Interstate 20 is a vital energy trade corridor not only for Texas, but for the entire United States. This BUILD grant is a huge boost in our efforts to increase safety along this corridor and to connect the Permian Basin energy sector to global markets."
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Sep 12, 2020, 12:16 PM (CDT), there are nearly 6.5 million cases and 192k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most infections at 746k, Texas with 653k, and Florida follows closely at 650k cases.
(CNBC) AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 trials have resumed in the U.K after being halted by the World Health Organization over safety concerns after receiving confirmation from the United Kingdom’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority to continue. The University of Oxford, which has a partnership with AstraZeneca, announces that 18,000 people have received the vaccination in trials.
World Politics and Economics
BBC reports about police enforcement on the Greek island of Lesbos, launching canisters of tear gas at homeless immigrants who protested after the Moria camp burned down on Wednesday. The camp housed around 13,000 migrants and refugees from 70 countries but mostly Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the people are desperate to leave the island, and confrontations broke out near a makeshift encampment, leaving families to sleep outside. On Friday, the protesters neared police barriers, which are allegedly blocking aid deliveries, holding signs demanding freedom and combating the establishment of a new camp.
Science and Technology
The Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Lab has taken the first 3,200-megapixel photos. “This is a huge milestone for us,” said Vincent Riot, LSST Camera project manager from DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. ”The focal plane will produce the images for the LSST, so it’s the capable and sensitive eye of the Rubin Observatory.” Director Steven Kahn of the observatory declaress, “This achievement is among the most significant of the entire Rubin Observatory Project. The completion of the LSST Camera focal plane and its successful tests is a huge victory by the camera team that will enable Rubin Observatory to deliver next-generation astronomical science.”
TechCrunch writes that President Trump refuses to extend the deadline for ByteDance to sell TikTok to Microsoft. Moreover, ByteDance can’t really sell the whole of TikTok, because, according to Business Insider, China has posted 23 categories that disallow TikTok from selling its recommendation algorithm. Many further claim that Microsoft is “not a company for the US,” but rather an international company for the US.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
World Politics and Economics: Joseph
Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, and Amelia
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)